Douglas Herman's picture
Joined: 2009-08-30
Columns on STR: 136
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Douglas Herman
United States

Short bio:

Award winning artist, photographer and freelance journalist, Douglas Herman enjoys exploring the occasional ghost town or spooky conspiracy and can be found wandering the back roads of America. Recently Doug finished writing, directing and producing an independent feature film, naturally a "road movie," and credits STR for giving him the impetus to write well, both provocatively and entertainingly. A longtime gypsy, Doug completed a 10,000 mile circumnavigation of North America, by bicycle, at the age of 35, and still wanders between Bullhead City, Arizona and Kodiak, Alaska with forays frequently into the so-called civilized world of Greater LA.

Columns by Douglas Herman

I Broke the Law at Walden Pond--Twice
Douglas Herman 2005-12-13 16:00
'If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behavior.' -Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) A lawbreaker once lived here by this little lake. He broke the law, encouraged others to break the law, and inspired millions more who visit Walden Pond every year to resist unwise laws. To bend them, break them, ignore them or question them. I broke...
Worst President Ever? You Might Be Surprised
Douglas Herman 2005-11-15 16:00
He shut down newspapers, imprisoned editors, and forced reporters to toe the official US government line long before the PATRIOT Act. Then he attacked US cities and burned them to the ground. Who was he? He lied to US voters, sided with one European imperial state against another, and plunged neutralist America into a disastrous war that cost 320,000 American casualties. Who was he?
Heart of Darkness and the Fog of War
Douglas Herman 2005-11-13 16:00
Heart of Darkness and the Fog of War by Douglas Herman
What Aliens Know About Earth
Douglas Herman 2005-11-06 16:00
One bit of speculation: Maybe our alien observers are hanging around Earth to observe the expected demise of our planet. Reportedly some scientists have observed a planet-dissolving cloud of cosmic dust, with a penchant for devouring tiny planets and all their inhabitants, nine years away and traveling fast. Maybe, just maybe, the aliens are hanging around, reserving grandstand seats, to witness...
The Two Million Dollar Sportfish
Douglas Herman 2005-10-31 16:00
Exclusive to STR Water terrifies me. Not the liquid, mind you, but the mystery and inherent power of deep water. What lurks there? Whenever I am caught in a storm at sea I feel the frailty of a man poised before an abyss. Certainly deep water is calmer; storms and tidal surges cause far more damage in shallow water, but it is the deep, dark water that seems most terrifying.
The All-New Devil's Dictionary!
Douglas Herman 2005-10-16 15:00
Exclusive to STR This is a tribute to the Civil War officer, author and newsman, Ambrose Bierce, who originally compiled The Devil's Dictionary. America. Noun. Former republic, reportedly founded 1776, but which foundered soon thereafter. An exemplary idea, a belief better realized in abstract than actuality. Anti-Semitism. Noun. Mistrust of Jews by non-Jewish people.
Dead White Women: Which Ones Matter Most?
Douglas Herman 2005-10-09 15:00
The same media circus over a dead white woman occurred recently with the murder of beautiful Taylor Behl. Another gruesome murder and the mainstream media on the scent like a rabid dog. Sex and abduction and murder. All the news stations carried footage from the crime scene. Over and over again. Beautiful White Woman Murdered In SEX-Related Slaying.
Our Rogue Republic's Dangerous Game of Risk
Douglas Herman 2005-10-04 15:00
You ever play Risk? The board game of global domination. Fun game.
Cheerful Firebrand: New Job Title
Douglas Herman 2005-09-25 15:00
Exclusive to STR STR is home to a pretty rich and diverse range of characters. I read the bios at the end of essays with as much interest as the essays themselves. People living their lives as large and expansive as they can, coping with inner doubts, the loneliness of wayward individualism, emotional disconnections, social constraints, government restraints, and the dozens of daily compulsions...
Fear--and the Deep Blue Sea
Douglas Herman 2005-09-22 15:00
"A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drownded, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. But we do be afraid of the sea, and we do only be drownded now and again." ~ J.M. Synge A voice said to me: If you go down, there you will die. Or get arrested. Those seemed to be my two choices. Arrested or die. I looked down into the bowl of that extinct volcano, staring at the...
Bodie Ghost Town
Douglas Herman 2005-09-18 15:00
Hot. Left late in the morning, after hiking around Manzanar "Relocation" Camp. Camped there last night, hoping to hear a ghost but only heard the wind. Slept in my van, along Owens Valley and highway 395. "Your water gone, what's left gives back a muddy azure, like a mildewed mirror," wrote poet BD Love, referring to dried up, lonely places like Manzanar. No lonelier place than the human heart,...
Haunted Waters
Douglas Herman 2005-09-11 15:00
"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it . . . I am haunted by water." -- Norman Maclean
Sailing Around North America #4--Tinkerbelle
Douglas Herman 2005-09-06 15:00
"When you come to the fork in the road, take it." ~ Yogi Berra "You've got to be careful if you don't know where you're going 'cause you might not get there." ~ Ibid "We're lost, but we're making good time." ~ Ibid
When Katrina Becomes Our Baghdad
Douglas Herman 2005-08-30 15:00
When Katrina Becomes Our Baghdad by Douglas Herman
Salton Sea: A Century Old and Dying Young
Douglas Herman 2005-08-30 15:00
The Salton Sea is a hundred years old today. Young by oceanic standards, prematurely old in actuality, the Salton Sea was spawned in the summer of 1905, gestated for two years, and emerged fully grown and probably destined for an early death.
Smackdown! I Challenge Rumsfeld to a Royal Rumble
Douglas Herman 2005-08-24 15:00
In a true democracy, (which we do NOT have), an underling like myself might challenge a tribal leader, especially one not elected, like Rumsfeld, and "call him out," force him to prove himself, especially in his chosen field of expertise. Otherwise, what's the point of democracy?
Sailing Around North America: Sandsailor
Douglas Herman 2005-08-21 15:00
"Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations." ~Thoreau West with the rising sun, west to the distant ocean like some lumbering, migratory bird. West past the low, eroded mountains surrounding Phoenix. West into the zen emptiness, that timeless open space populated by...
Sailing Around North America: Leaving
Douglas Herman 2005-08-15 15:00
Sailing Around North America: Leaving by Douglas Herman
Ten Good Things About America
Douglas Herman 2005-08-09 15:00
"Well, I get tired of hearing it's a crummy world and that people are no damn good." ~ Robert Fulghum I flew over the country last October, flying diagonally from Seattle to Miami . Once aloft, the plane passed over the Cascade Mountains. Mount Rainier, Washington, east of Seattle , looked like the top of a snow cone, and I pressed my nose to the window.
Requiem for a Forgotten Hero
Douglas Herman 2005-07-27 15:00
"Zeal for thine house consumed me." ~ John 2:17 Forty years ago he struck a match and lit a single blow against an immoral war. He fired the only weapon he believed he had in his arsenal: himself. Some called him a madman, a cruel father and heartless parent. Most shook their heads in disbelief: Norman Morrison killed himself to protest a war.
The Shock (and Horror) of Reality
Douglas Herman 2005-07-25 15:00
Last year I flew up to Kodiak, Alaska, where I work most summers. Once aloft, I pulled a book out of my bag and started reading. Having been a struggling writer for 20 years, I wanted to read about the struggles and eventual success of a fellow writer, hoping to discover a few secrets of successful writing along the way.
Harry Potter and the Princes of Darkness
Douglas Herman 2005-07-12 15:00
Harry awoke from a sound sleep, rubbed his eyes, and wondered if his dream was only a nightmare. He dreamt that, in a world of witches, warlocks and spells, a dark spell had been cast on two mighty nations. The people of America and England adored diversion, fast food filled with toxins, children's books and childish movies, cosmetic makeovers, brutish sports, mindless millionaires and vacuous...
Suicide Bombers in Hollywood
Douglas Herman 2005-07-10 15:00
"I'm a soldier of freedom, in the army of man, We are the chosen, we're the partisan, Well, the cause it is noble, the cause it is just, We are ready to pay with our lives if we must" ~ "Ride Across The River" by Dire Straits
My Nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize
Douglas Herman 2005-06-29 15:00
The Nobel Peace Prize was named after some inventor named Alfred Nobel who invented an efficient way to blow things up. Keeping that spirit in mind, I'd like to nominate a couple of lowly paid young fellows for this year's prize. Despite resistance from all quarters, but with scads of allies and admirers, my nominations also attempt to blow things up.
Count the Bullets: Blow Away All Arguments
Douglas Herman 2005-06-27 15:00
Count the Bullets: Blow Away All Arguments by Douglas Herman
Deadliest Catch: One Alaska Fisherman to Another
Douglas Herman 2008-09-28 15:00
Exclusive to STR September 29, 2008
The Confessions of Osama Bin Laden
Douglas Herman 2008-11-17 16:00
I confess I did not know then, but I know now, why you Americans stopped chasing me at Tora Bora in October 2001.
Does the American Empire Deserve to Die?
Douglas Herman 2009-11-01 16:00
 Exclusive to STR November 2, 2009 I’m halfway through a reflective book written by an old curmudgeon. Part patriot, part historian, all gadfly, Gore Vidal wrote Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia in 2004, just before the upcoming national elections. Almost a time capsule coupled with dire prophecy, the book is a sober,...
Adventures in Silver and Gold, Part 1: Seeking Precious Metal in The Melting Pot of Life
Douglas Herman 2011-04-25 02:00
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Metal, heavy metal is much in the news these days. While heavy radioactive metals are melting down in Japan, the twin precious metals of gold and silver are melting upwards. We are always surrounded by precious metal. It is inside us. Sometimes we sacrifice our more precious mettle inside of us to sweat and sacrifice and finally extract the less valuable...
Star-Crossed Super Ships: Titanic, Enterprise, America
Douglas Herman 2012-03-22 23:00
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR The whole world looked different one hundred years ago.   In 1912, the automobile and the airplane were curiosities. England enjoyed an enormous empire in 1912, served by freighters, tankers, liners and warships. As immigration flooded across the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of those ships ferried passengers across to America. Shipyards launched bigger...
Dick Cheney and the Dead Pool
Douglas Herman 2014-07-07 06:41
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “It is a universal trend for peoples to unite in a national emergency.” ~ Uri Avnery Dick Cheney rarely reads my columns here at STR. Certainly I’m glad that millions of Winston Smiths over at NSA read my stuff. I want them to read my stuff. I want young and impressionable minds, like Edward Snowden, to read STR and have ideas implanted...
Kindness Generates Kindness
Douglas Herman 2014-06-27 06:16
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “I’d love to change the world But I don't know what to do So I'll leave it up to you” ~ Ten Years After Memorial Day weekend. Mixed emotions. Sunshine and flowers in bloom and flags flying everywhere. Pretty girls and propaganda on TV and more empty, patriotic slogans from those who want to stir up trouble but never served....
They Stole His Money, Her Money & Mine Too
Douglas Herman 2012-01-24 00:00
Column by Doug Herman. Exclusive to STR  Just before the holidays, I walked into my local Wells Fargo bank to cash a small birthday check one of my sisters gave to me. Imagine my surprise when the teller informed me my small savings account was closed. I told her she was mistaken, and asked her to please check again; I knew I had about $800 in the account and I never use the ATM and don...
All My Heroes Died Broke, Broken, Not Beaten
Douglas Herman 2012-03-08 00:00
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR  “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure that it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.” ~ Ernest Hemingway   Recently I...
Fifty Years After JFK, the Empire Strikes Back
Douglas Herman 2013-11-04 08:12
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR H3 { margin-top: 0.14in; margin-bottom: 0in; color: rgb(79, 129, 189); page-break-inside: avoid; }H3.western { font-family: "Cambria",serif; font-size: 12pt; }H3.cjk { font-family: "Arial Unicode MS"; font-size: 12pt; }H3.ctl { font-size: 12pt; }P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able...
Black Swans vs. Canary in the Coal Mine
Douglas Herman 2012-02-27 00:00
Column by Doug Herman. Exclusive to STR  Not all Black Swans are created equally.     Orchestrated human events are rarely Black Swan events. No matter how surprising to the masses, sudden and spectacular world events are rarely random, or so called Black Swans. Most Black Swans are human creations, created by and for the power elites. Pearl Harbor (1941), followed by the...
'Lone Gunman': Suspicious Similarities, Norwegian, Australian, American Shooters
Douglas Herman 2012-12-17 08:24
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR “We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know, and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.” ~ Katherine Graham, Publisher of the Washington...
A Naturalist Looks at Avatar
Douglas Herman 2010-01-12 03:00
Exclusive to STR Maybe you’ve seen the first billion dollar movie. Maybe you saw it in 3-D, at an IMAX theater, with Dolby Surround Sound. Maybe you saw that movie and wondered what James Cameron was trying to say, if anything, and whether it was just another popcorn matinee movie with little substance behind the special effects.  Avatar might be one of those movies discussed in...